“Fidelity’s 2015 Plan Sponsor Attitudes Survey,” disclosed the satisfaction level of plan sponsors with their advisors improved to 70 percent last year, reflecting a nice increase from 2010 when it was just 57 percent.
While they seem to be happy, the survey also found that 17 percent of plan sponsors are actively looking to switch advisors, which is the highest number since the survey was launched six years ago.
The 17% number is a good place to focus if you’re a financial advisor seeing out new clients because plan sponsors looking to make a change are likelier to make one. That’s just common sense.
I wouldn’t be worried about the 70% satisfaction because many times plan sponsors are satisfied because they think their advisors are doing a good job. I have absolutely no knowledge of construction, so I was happy with a couple of home building contractors before I discovered they weren’t very good. A good chunk of that 70% love their advisor, but don’t know why and don’t know if their advisor is actually doing their job.
The problem is connecting with a lot of plan sponsors who maybe happy with their advisor because they would brush off any type of solicitation by claiming they are happy. Any type of communication should focus on good fiduciary practices and whether the incumbent advisor is doing the job by articulating what you do as an advisor because I believe that any negativity towards the incumbent advisor may get the advisor fired, but it may not get you hired because people hate negativity. I’d focus on what you do and the fees you charge because it may give that “happy” plan sponsor something to be unhappy about.
I always say happy clients never leave, but sometimes clients don’t know when they should be unhappy.